Racing – 2005 British GT Championship
Knockhill & Thruxton - A Busy And Frustrating Week
The early part
of the British GT season has been a hectic time for all concerned:
three races in three weeks for the GT3 runners has left everyone
with a look resembling a thousand yard stare – Croft, Knockhill
and then Thruxton have seen cars, teams and drivers doing more mileage
than a rally raid competitor (and that’s without the racing
After the adventures
at a very cold and rainy Croft it was a long haul up to Scotland’s
Knockhill circuit for Rounds 4 and 5 of the 2005 British GT championship,
but hopes were high for a good pair of point scoring finishes.
The racing gods
though are a fickle breed and they served up weather conditions
which could best be described as changeable for Saturday’s
was something of a lottery on a wet but drying track. Threatening
clouds made the choice more difficult still and the #99 car, Stuart
Scott at the wheel, was one of several runners taking the cautious
step of starting on full wets.
It was to prove
the wrong call, the rain stayed away and the sun even poked its
head around the clouds - so the handful of runners who had bravely
chosen slicks all of a sudden looked like supermen, whilst the cars
on wets soon found that their treaded rubber was degrading fast.
With that situation
it was inevitable that Stuart would be one of the first to pit,
slicks were the only sensible choice, despite a still greasy surface
off line, and Steve Wood blasted back out into the race, pedal immediately
to the metal.
The #99 car
was immediately on the ultimate pace and began to set some impressive
times. His best, a 54.876, was just half a second slower than the
race winner’s - but the blue car’s race was not destined
to go the distance.
With just 15
minutes of the race to run, and the CBT backed car steadily climbing
the order, Steve exited the tricky Clark Curve and ran slightly
twitched and, despite Wood’s best efforts, the back end snapped
out: the initial slide was caught but the car had already reached
the point of no return, the front end swiping the tyre barrier at
Hislops. It was a big impact and the track was strewn with bodywork
and clods of earth. Steve Wood got it together quickly though and
managed to drive the car the short distance to the pits, where it
Steve was understandably
shaken and was annoyed with the incident. “It’s only
my second ever accident on track and I’m still not really
sure how it happened.”
A race start
for Sunday looked highly unlikely, with much of the Porsche ahead
of the leading edge of the bonnet strewn around the Scottish countryside,
but the Eurotech crew came up trumps and the car was present and
(almost) correct for the Sunday morning warm-up session.
the finger of fate was pointing at the #99ers. The one part that
the team didn’t hold in reserve was the underbody ducting,
which had been destroyed in the accident. Torrential rain throughout
the morning looked as if it would help enormously - track temperatures
would have been sufficiently low not to have caused a problem -
but the appearance of the sun in the Fife sky was to prove disastrous,
the car retiring early on with predictable overheating problems.
Off to Thruxton
then at the other end of the UK for the following weekend.
was a new look to the driver line-up for the Hampshire double header,
with Nick Adcock (right) joining Steve (Stuart being unavailable
to drive owing to other commitments). Nick of course is no stranger
to the Porsche, he shared the car with Stuart at the GT Festival
in Bahrain last November.
the hectic schedule would play a part. The car just didn’t
feel right around the bumpy but awesomely quick circuit. Confidence
is a big factor here and a wayward 911 isn’t the tool to inspire
that. “We can’t find a set-up we’re happy with,”
indicated Steve Wood.
The net result
was an off the pace Porsche and a pair of DNFs, bitterly disappointing
for all concerned, just a tired and reflective journey back home
remaining, ahead of a four week break in the Championship.
/ CBT boys though don’t stay down for long – the big
grins will be back at the most popular race meeting of the season,
at Wiltshire’s lovely Castle Combe circuit at the end of June.